September 2010 - Vol. 42

Wanted: A Few Good Men 

Summer Training Household (April 19 - May 16, 2010) – Manila, Philippines
Introduction by Jim Orbe

Two thousand years ago, Jesus sought out a few good men to help him in his mission.  And when they asked Jesus where he lived and what he did, he didn’t reply by handing them a “How to Live As a Christian” manual.  Rather, Jesus invited them to “come and see” (John 1:39).

Every summer, in Christ’s Youth in Action (CYA), a national movement of college students in the Philippines who share in the church’s evangelistic spirit and mission, we invite college-age men to come and see in a training household to help them grow as Christ’s disciples. CYA is dedicated to bringing young people into a personal relationship with Jesus Christ and training them for leadership and service in the church and society.

This training household, which lasts for four weeks with 6-10 men in each house, is CYA's “come and see” first-hand immersion experience of leadership training. There students who are eager to follow Christ learn the value of hard work while increasing their social awareness.  The training household environment is conducive to their growth in personal prayer, love for scripture, personal reflection, and at the same time clearly experiencing the life of faithfully persevering in the Lord.  

Here are some reflections of the young men who joined ranks in the training household and whose lives were changed.

Jeyo Leoncio
4th year Engineering Student, University of Santo Tomas 

“Those who can be trusted in little things can be trusted in bigger things. Integrity. That is what the CYA summer training household is all about for me.  raining in little things for us to be prepared in bigger things that are yet to come. These little things are our daily routine in our household.  Getting up really early, setting the table, dishwashing, doing other chores, attending talks and serving our fellow brothers. All of these served as our training – to develop our Christian manly character and learn what integrity is all about. Jim Orbe was right: maybe in the future, we will forget the teachings that we received, but the one thing that will stay in us is the way of life we lived in the summer training household, Christ-centered and with integrity.

Due to the summer household, I am proud to say that now I have successfully memorized all the names of the books in the bible – in order!  I learned from 2 Timothy 3:16 that scripture is for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training us in righteousness, for us to be equipped for the service of the Lord.”
PK Felongco
3rd year Engineering Student, University of Santo Tomas

“I got a glimpse on how to organize my time. How to schedule stuff, and how to meet the requirements of the day.  Also, I have learned some practical things in housekeeping like cooking, cleaning, and house maintenance.

Due to the things that I’ve learned, I came closer to God. Through the common prayer times and discussions about faith and life, I can see that God really works in each and every one of us.  I am very thankful to have been included in the CYA summer training household 2010.  It has made me experience the confidence in speaking in front of people, making me realize that practice makes perfect.

An idle mind is the devil’s workshop. Ignorance is not an excuse. Knowledge is power. These sayings were proven in our Wednesday and Friday mornings. A Bible study class meant to augment the men of Christ getting ready and making themselves fit for the fight. Some say that a Bible study session is boring. Not in my case. I have experienced and I can attest that having bible study sessions is fun, exciting and most of all, fulfilling. The right words for these would be the joy of discovering God’s word!

Truly God really makes things possible. The Lord breaks boys until they become the men that they should be.  Truly, in a household of Christian men, one would compete, but in all things one should only strive and imitate one man - Jesus Christ. God was with us in the summer household.”
Gab Sandoval
2nd year La Salle student

“Things I learned in the summer household. First of all I learned how to pray the right way. When I had my prayer times I really felt the presence of God. I know now how he tries to speak to us, how he relays his message to us. I realized I wasn’t exerting the right amount of effort in my prayer time ‘cause now I have steps to follow, like first you have to observe carefully as you read Scripture reading for the day, then interpret, and so on and so forth. I became more familiar with the books of the Bible, and it’s easier now to find a particular book in the Bible. I also learned about the different materials you can use when you try to study and understand scriptures. I appreciate even more how the Bible came about, how it all started and the different time-lines of the stories in the Bible. Now, I want to read every single book in the Bible.”
Jarold Franco
4th year Engineering Student, University of the Philippines – Diliman

“A new army is formed. The battle has begun. In fact, we are facing the greatest war in this world: the spiritual war. The terrible thing is, most people are not aware of it. But the Commander, Jesus Christ, is on the move. He has formed a special force and the training ground was in the household.

This is a short account of our summer training household. We had lots of wonderful, exciting, but challenging activities, from waking-up too early in the morning to having a fruitful prayer time, doing chores, performing various tasks, learning how to cook, listening to teachings, having fellowship times and action groups, giving talks, all the way to ending the evening with prayer then repeating the pattern day after day after day. We gradually strengthened ourselves with the habit of serving and worshipping the Lord, exercising self-control, being responsible and accountable to one another, and practicing honesty and discipline. And most important of all is the realization of how great and honorable our Commander is and what kind of Christian I must become. God has revealed it to me through my experience with the brothers during the four weeks of being together. Due to my summer class I was not able to maximize the opportunities being with my brothers but the time I had with them was genuine enough that I desire to imitate their goodness in order for me to become like Christ.

I must be like Jeyo who has a pure heart, Arick who is like a general in leadership, and Gab who has a young and innocent spirit. I need to posses the optimism of Mervin, the openness of Nad, the simplicity and firmness of heart of Benjo, the zeal towards holiness and perfection of Moti, the courage and aggressiveness of I.D., and the energy emanating from Nikki. I want to share the same vision with P.K. in being a selfless servant and soldier of God. I want to imitate Kenneth for he is a formidable brother, Justin for being an example of an obedient and disciplined individual, and John for the versatility that the Lord has provided in him. I admire the passion of Arman in worshipping the Lord, the humility and  trustworthiness of Tone, the cheerfulness of Adrain and the kindness and bravery of Jeremy. And I salute Brother Jim, Brother Peter, and Brother Raoul for their patience and for being the living “men of class” of this generation. Each of us is a part of Christ’s body made new by the Holy Spirit, and it was in this summer household that our Christian characters were integrated and harnessed. We have been equipped with weapons of teachings, the shield of brotherhood, and first-hand training.

The battle is ongoing but the army has already been gathered. The strategic plan has been mappedout.  Honestly, I’m not sure if we are really able to fight as front liners at this moment, but one thing is certain, we are ready for the next step to carry out the order of our greatest Commander!”

Jeremy Lobo
3rd yr. Computer Student, Pune, India

“This is my first household experience. And it has proved to be a very good, amazing and life-changing experience for me in certain ways. The basic schedule of a normal day at the household would be breakfast at 6am, followed by a small talk by Jim Orbe, morning prayers, Bible study, chores, lunch, fellowship time with the brothers, chores/project, dinner, personal testimonies, talk presentation by one of the participants, teaching, fellowship time, night prayers.  

The household has been a blessing to me. It has taught me how to treat my brothers in a Christian manly manner, it has taught me how to serve, it has helped me to pray and meditate on God’s word. The Bible study class has helped me to read the Bible in a totally different way. It has helped me enjoy reading the Bible. It has helped me observe and interpret God’s word thus enabling me to get a deeper understanding to what God is trying to say and also read God’s word more closely.  

The chores like cleaning the house, washing, cooking, clearing the table after meals have really helped me learn how to serve people by putting others before myself, or in simple terms learning to love others like Christ does. The schedule of the household along with the help of my fellow brothers have instilled in me the discipline that was missing in my life. I would like to thank my roommates: Benjo, Jeyo, Kenneth for helping me get up on time in the morning. The morning worship, prayers, and meditation helped me. I have always struggled with my prayer time, but now it has become more like a habit to me, something that I enjoy. Something that is a part of my day.”

Kenneth Carandang 
4th year Engineering Student, University of the Philippines – Diliman

“The summer training household really taught me a lot of things, both in my Christian life as well as in my ordinary student life. I learned that reading the Bible isn’t just like reading an ordinary book. Reading the Bible requires prayer, study, and living it out through the gifts and experiencing the fruits of the Holy Spirit.

Summer household has taught me how to really be a leader in words and action. I leaned to take initiative, to be decisive, and to be patient. Being a leader also means being a servant, and through this household I really learned how to become a disciple of Christ.

I learned how to take on a manly character in serving the Lord. How to evangelize and how to pray and meditate using the word of the Lord in scripture. I gained a lot of knowledge about scripture reading, and about how I can apply and actualize it outside the household.

In this household, I’ve done many things for the first time: cleaning bathrooms, serving food to others, buying food in the market, repairing the faucet, repairing the front screen door, giving a talk about a Bible hero, sharing my personal testimony, sleeping on the floor in a sleeping bag, etc., etc. These are the things I thought I could never do. All this work made me feel exhausted but it made my inner-self stronger, because when you experience these things first-hand, you never forget them.

The experiences with all the brothers were really worthwhile and unforgettable. Playing sports - different kinds like basketball, table tennis, swimming and frisbee really built my relationship with my brothers. Having to share with them my knowledge and also listening to their sharing made my relationship with them stronger. The brothers in the household really made it possible and easy for me to adjust to the life in the household. With all of these things, I am grateful, it would not be possible if not for the Lord’s goodness. The Lord really found a way for me to grow in my relationship with him. He brought me closer to him through the summer household.”

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